How will CCA funds be invested in Clean Energy?

April 11, 2023

During these last two weeks of Session in Olympia, the Washington State House and Senate will finalize bills and make biennial budget decisions that will impact our progress toward a clean economy for years to come. 

Revenues from Climate Commitment Act (CCA) emissions allowance auctions will be allocated in ways that will support Washington state in achieving its greenhouse gas emissions reduction requirements, improve public health, create jobs, boost private investments, and reduce compliance costs. 

Last week we highlighted investments proposed for the Transportation sector. Today we examine Clean Energy. And on that front, we’re encouraged that over the weekend the Senate passed E2HSB 1216, to enable more efficient and effective siting and permitting of clean energy projects with policies and investments that protect the environment, overburdened communities, and tribal rights.

Another bill that will move Washington forward toward a cleaner energy future is ESHB 1589, a bill that supports the transition of Puget Sound Energy, our state’s largest gas and electric utility, to cleaner energy. We’re advocating action this week on ESHB 1589 to support new renewable energy projects, and incentivize public and private-sector collaboration. As our ambitious clean energy laws take effect, it is incumbent on businesses to plan for the future. This bill is PSE’s path to decarbonization while protecting customers. The bill makes appropriate trade-offs to meet the needs of many stakeholders: customers get affordable options to transition to efficient appliances, saving money on utility bills; historically disadvantaged communities get strong low-income and energy burden protections; labor gets strong worker protections and union requirements; and the state gets a 21st century regulatory framework to more quickly achieve its nation-leading clean energy laws.

Legislators are putting the finishing touches not only on important bills, but also on biennial budgets. We’ve put together this summary of Clean Energy investments proposed by the House and Senate. 

For greater detail on Clean Energy, click this chart to see highlights from the House and Senate budget proposals:

One clean energy investment we think is especially smart is for cost share agreements for anaerobic digester development with dairy farm owners. Dairy digesters can produce renewable energy from manure and other sources of agricultural organic waste. For more on why dairy digesters are a worthwhile investment, read the Methane Reduction Through Dairy Digesters paper we published in our Smart Climate Investments for a Clean Economy series: 

Other notable investments under discussion include funds for a regional hydrogen hub, solar projects, and carbon removal under the state’s Clean Energy Fund. Also for increasing the capacity of the state and local governments to permit clean energy projects. And because legislators in Olympia recognize that Washington’s clean energy leadership depends on expanding intellectual capacity for innovation, investments are proposed for the Institute for NW Energy Futures to establish a research center at the WSU Tri-Cities campus, and for the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to plan, develop, demonstrate, and deploy clean energy technologies and infrastructure.

During the next few days we’ll share a closer look at proposed budgets for Buildings, and Natural Resources.

Clean & Prosperous Washington is a project of the Washington Business Alliance.
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